From drones to AI, to robots and virtual assistants, technology has already begun to infiltrate our everyday lives. However, we’re not quite sure how it will affect content marketers.
Will this new tech steal our jobs, or make our lives easier? How will audience expectations change? Will we even still need to create written content? (We certainly hope so!)
With all this still up in the air, we saw it as our duty to investigate how technology will transform content marketing in 2018. Read on to find out what we discovered!
How is technology used in content marketing now?
The term ‘technology’ encompasses a lot, even when you try to hone it down to a specific industry like content marketing.
Here’s a quick definition to make sure we’re all on the same page:
Technology: The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.
Oxford Living Dictionaries
In a content marketing context, it means using scientific knowledge, software and devices to improve the industry’s weak-spots, including:
- The content discovery gap – Making sure the right people find your content and act
- Proving ROI – Measuring success and return on investment
- Omni-channel marketing – Creating a consistent and engaging message across multiple platforms and past the point of sale
- High level of competitiveness – Targeting viable customers in a way that’s tailored to their preferences
Technology is already an integral part of content marketing, especially within the creation, distribution and analysis stages. It helps us improve our output and measure our successes.
However, we suspect that technology will transform content marketing in such a way that we’ll all need to re-think our strategies by the end of the year. Take a look at these core developments and see what changes you can make today.
5 key areas in which technology will transform content marketing
1. Voice search is changing SEO
Virtual assistants were big news at the end of 2017, so it’s a safe bet that lots of people got one for Christmas. All of our team did – thank you Santa!
There may be a few teething problems at the beginning, but ultimately Siri, Alexa and Google Home will change the way people find information online.
It’s no longer good enough to be search engine optimised for websites, mobile devices and apps. You now need to concentrate on including conversational patterns for voice search too!
Estimates say that voice searches will account for 50% of all online queries by 2020, so you better get a shift on! Also, it’s super-important to get the #1 spot in the SERPs as that’s the only option that voice assistants will read out.
Here are two great ways to get ahead with strong voice-orientated SEO
- Complete your ‘Google My Business’ listing – it’s great for local search and means all your information is easily available to Google crawlers
- Create high-quality FAQ pages – these are best for conversational-style keywords. Just remember the answers should be quick and succinct to rank highly.
2. AI and machine learning will do what you do, but better
It seems like years ago that artificial intelligence first entered the marketing scene, but back then it was more sci-fi than a real technique.
After years of tweaking algorithms and extensive testing, AI is finally easily available for use by marketers.
This new technology will transform content marketing by removing the guesswork from your decisions (and it’ll make those decisions much faster than you can).
Using sophisticated analytics, AI and machine learning software can identify applicable and useful patterns that will affect engagement and overall effectiveness. This removes the ROI risks often associated with content marketing and will keep working to improve your success rates – hooray!
Now, some will say this leaves marketers with very little to do. Those people are wrong.
When you don’t have to worry about targeting, distribution or analysis, you can spend more time creating top-quality content your visitors will love. You could have the most powerful AI in the world, but without a bit of your creative flair your site won’t perform as well as you want it to!
Also, someone needs to check that the AI is working properly, so you better stick around in case you need to save the day!
3. Smart content is coming
Thanks to the developments in AI and machine learning, a new type of content is on its way – smart content.
Just like your smart watches, smart light bulbs, smart TVs and smart fridges (we really don’t know what that last one does), smart content is intelligently customised to your customers’ needs.
The AI analyses the behaviour of your visitors and tweaks the written content accordingly. This could be by changing the format, associated content, language, personalisation elements (e.g. name) and more.
You might have to come up with a few versions of each page, but in the long-run it’s well worth it. After all, HubSpot says that targeted pages perform 42% better than their generic counterparts.
4. Augmented reality is here to stay … kind of
It seems like ages ago that everyone was running around hunting Pokémon. Since then, most have forgotten about the phenomenon of augmented reality (AR). This is a huge mistake, however, as it’s a prime example of how technology will change content marketing in 2018.
Through AR, marketers are no longer limited to the physical world. This innovative and exciting tech will unleash new possibilities for marketers. However, it will only work if they have a solid brand identity to back it up.
While AR won’t reach its full transformative potential for another three years or so, 2018 is the year for marketers to start strategizing and building up their brands.
That way, when AR does come along, marketers will be ready to combine physical and virtual realities to create something new and bespoke for their audience. This will act as a great hook and attract new followers to your sites.
In the meantime, there are some AR elements you can use now. Add filters and animations to your social media accounts to offer something extra to your followers. They’ll appreciate the personal touch and begin to connect with your brand.
5. Content marketing in 2018 is paving the way for immersive content
All marketers accept that omni-channel marketing is essential; you need a consistent and cohesive brand image to make sure the reader doesn’t lose focus.
However, new technologies such as voice search and AI are now coming together to create a truly immersive conversation between the user and the brand.
Eventually, any interactions with a voice assistant will tie into site visits, sales calls and even trips to brick and mortar stores. And all must be stimulating and highly personalised to pull this off and improve your overall customer experience.
So, technology will transform content marketing in several ways this year. Are you ready? Start making changes now and don’t get left behind!